What is brand experience?
There are over 31 million small businesses in the United States (source). With numbers like this, you’re going to need to find a way to make your business unique if you want to stand out.
The best way to inject a level of uniqueness is to develop a brand. A brand is a company defined outside of its products, people, and services; it’s a company looked at as a personality.
But how exactly do you create a brand? And what is a brand experience?
This article will walk you through why it’s important to not just run a good business, but create a brand; and why it’s important to not just run a great brand but to create a brand experience.
So What Is A Brand Experience?
You can think of a brand experience as someone’s friendship with your brand.
Most businesses are not brands. Your local pizza store might be great, but it likely doesn’t have its own recognizable personality. That’s why it’s just your local pizza store.
Businesses like this are the people who pass in the street, on the subway, in restaurants. They’re transient — they only stay in your life to perform a service.
However, a brand turns a business into the type of person that comes into your life that you want to know. A brand experience turns these interactions with strangers into unique conversations. A great brand experience is like discovering a new friend.
Look at the most recognizable brands out there. Like it or not, you know White Castle from the moment you see their unique packaging, dynamic stores, or incredibly small, angular burgers.
You might find the WWE cheesy, but the fact is that you recognize it. It’s right upfront about who it is and what it values. How many fictional TV shows do you know that have been running for as long as (and successfully as) Monday Night Raw?
These products, while extreme, are great examples of a well-executed brand strategy.
How does brand experience help?
Brand Experience Helps You Communicate Your Message
The best businesses out there are able to not just gain profit but communicate a message. Consumers aren’t dumb; they’re able to sniff out when someone just wants to make a quick buck. What they relate to is a recognizable brand with values.
The Apple Example
Think of Apple, one of the most recognizable brands in the world — if not the most recognizable. Tons of people have switched over to using Apple products because they’re undeniably convenient. Most people haven’t articulated it to themselves, but when asked, people generally find Apple convenient.
This is because Apple has devoted itself to simplicity. They came into the world with one goal — to make people’s lives easier, more convenient, more streamlined.
Everything from the sleek designs of their products, to the minimal packaging, to the friendly and open stores, to the reduced color palette, to their revolutionizing of the way we interact with the world conveys this passion for keeping things light and easy.
What’s Your Experience?
At the end of the day, none of the above things makes Apple’s brand experience. However, from seeing an ad, to going to the Apple store, to heading home and using your new product, you’re going through a carefully tailored process designed by Apple. They haven’t just thought about their products, they’ve thought about integrating themselves into your life; this is what makes them golden.
If you want to become golden in the eyes of your community, you need to work your way into the lives of your customers. Think of your business as extending beyond your in-person interactions with your customers. Think of how they’ll experience your business through the rest of their day, and you’re well on your way to creating a brand experience.
Brand Experience Increases Brand Recognition
Generally, it takes around five to seven impressions before someone recognizes a brand. People aren’t going to see your ad once and immediately recognize you from there on out.
However, if you put experiences out into the world, people are far more likely to get all of those initial impressions quickly. The quicker that people start recognizing your brand, the quicker that your brand will grow.
Brand Experience Helps You Get Specific
Crafting a brand experience is going to take you away from being a generic company that tries to appeal to all, and will market you towards a specific niche. In the 2020s, this is absolutely vital to succeeding in business.
There are enough large businesses out there who seek to appeal to everyone’s needs. On top of this, the world has made it easier than ever for people to define their identities and find people just like them.
If you can appeal to a specific subculture of people, you’ll make an impact. These people will see that you’re the right brand for them, and share information about you with their friends.
However, to gain the advantage of the subcultural treatment, you need to create a brand experience. It takes specificity to line up all the aspects of your businesses in a row. Once you can do this, you’re far more likely to attract those looking for businesses with a sense of individuality.
This, in turn, will help you understand your demographics better and help you market towards them.
Focusing on a brand experience will set up a symbiotic relationship with your customers. They’ll let you know what they want, and as long as you keep providing it, they’ll keep patronizing your business.
Brand Experience In Action
Here are a few examples of how we created brand experiences for our clients here at Spellbrand. Typically these are projects where we help create the brand and positioning strategy as well as the visual language.
Fast Food Restaurant Branding & Website by Spellbrand
An immersive brand experience
For this fast-food restaurant brand client, we created a brand strategy and an immersive visual language that creates an immersive experience for the core audience. We did this through the brand story which focuses on the tales and stories told by friends and family over a great meal.
We created a ton of visual elements that tell the full story of the brand and its purpose. These design elements connect the dots for the audience and create engagement and loyalty.
Dominican Republic Cigars Brand Identity by Spellbrand
Customer delight brand experience
When working with this hand-made cigars brand client, we created a strategy and visual language that is all about showcasing heritage, legacy, and customer delight. Although the primary logo may look like it was created to be serious, the supporting brand visual elements were all aligned with creating delight.
We also designed the packaging and labels to bring a smile to the customer’s face when they interact with any of the brand touchpoints.
Fusion Fresh 7-Eleven Concept Restaurant Branding by Spellbrand
Crisp, Fresh and Wonderful Brand Experience
When we were approached by this 7-Eleven concept restaurant brand client, they wanted to create a brand that gave a fresh, crisp, and wonderful brand experience. To bring this to the visual messaging, we created a brand identity that not only looks bold and stunning but also creates a sense of freshness and crispness that are essential for immersing customers in a concept restaurant brand.
We created a stunning brand identity along with visual elements, patterns, uniforms, menus, and other brand system elements that come together to create an all-encompassing brand experience that is unique and memorable.
Dubai Fashion Retailer Brand Identity by Spellbrand
Elegant brand experience visuals
For this Dubai fashion retailer brand identity client, we created a brand message and visual language that screams elegance and personalization. By creating a set of visual elements that bring the customer into the brand worldview of the fashion designer, Preeti Chandra, and her wonderful creations.
If your brand message is one of elegance, you must ensure that your brand experience is also one of elegance and understated subtleness.
Hope you found these examples from our portfolio inspiring. Remember that to create a powerful brand experience you need to bring together elements of a robust brand strategy, messaging, visual language, and attitude – to create emotional connections.
Think of your user experience of your target audience all the way through your brand-building journey right from when you are figuring out your brand essence, through to creating your brand story and message framework, down to your visual language.
But it does not stop there.
The brand experience strategy continues with your marketing campaigns, products and services, sales process, order delivery, customer service, and after-sales services. If any of these steps is disconnected, your brand loyalty suffers.